The latest monthly market report issued by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) shows that the recent decline in new home sales is continuing in the Greater Toronto Area. A total of 7,792 sales were recorded in April 2018, marking the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. April’s figures represent a 32.1% decline over April 2017’s sales numbers. Among the various home type sales recorded, detached home sales priced at $2 million or higher saw a pronounced drop, only accounting for 5.5% of detached home sales versus the 10% recorded a year earlier. 

TREB, market report, Toronto, GTA, real estateYonge-Eglinton skyline, image by Forum contributor kris

The decline in sales levels is accompanied by a drop in the average selling price, down by 12.4% year-over-year and now sitting at an average of $804,584. Contrasting the year-over-year figures, the changes measured from March 2018 to April 2018 were less drastic, with sales only declining by 1.6% and selling prices by just 0.2%. When factoring year-over-year changes in the type of home sales, the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price declined only 5.2% versus the 12.4% overall decline in prices.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live,” reads a prepared statement issued by TREB President Tim Syrianos. “This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

With the provincial election just around the corner, TREB is advocating for all political parties to make housing issues a top priority in their election platforms, claiming an increased need of tax relief for new home buyers. Tim Syrianos states that recently "there has been significant intervention in housing markets by all levels of government, through regulatory changes and taxation. We believe the next step should be tax relief, especially from Land Transfer Taxes, both provincial and the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, and efforts to facilitate an increase in the supply of missing middle housing that fills the gap between single family homes and high rises".

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